May Play A Role In Cancer Treatment And Prevention
This potential benefit is still a bit up in the air. Animal models have shown that periodic fasting may help protect normal cells from the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs while sensitizing cancer cells to the treatment .
When it comes to human trials, the data is still inconclusive. Weight control and reduced inflammation in the body could reduce the development of cancer, but further research is needed to understand the role fasting may play in cancer treatment .
Increase Your Intake Of Unsaturated Fats
While saturated fats can increase your cholesterol levels, adding some unsaturated fats to your diet may have the opposite effect.
“Unsaturated fats are actually beneficial because they lower overall cholesterol and blood pressure while still providing energy for your body,” says Fleming. She notes that omega-3-rich fish, like salmon, mackerel, and tuna nuts like almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts and vegetable oils, including sunflower, olive, corn, and walnut oils, are all good sources of unsaturated fat.
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Improves Insulin Resistance Which Can Help Diabetes Prevention And Management
Intermittent fasting and weight loss may help reduce fasting blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity through lowering concentrations of leptin, the hormone produce by fat cells to regulate hunger, and increasing adiponectin, a hormone that plays a role in glucose and lipid metabolism.
In some studies where fasting was used as a weight-loss intervention and strategy for maintaining a healthy weight, people who intermittently fast had lower levels of blood glucose which happens to be a central goal in the prevention and treatment of diabetes .
These possible benefits may be driven more by reductions in body weight and body fat percent stemmed from caloric restriction influenced by intermittent fasting, but research still shows an overall positive effect on blood sugar levels when intermittent fasting .
Intermittent fasting may help improve glycemic control and insulin resistance with a reduction in weight in those with diabetes and those without.
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Is Fasting A Good Way To Lose Weight
Although it offers health benefits including reduced heart disease and weight loss its not really the best way to lose weight, Dr. Bruemmer says. While fasting helps you drop pounds quickly, it doesnt help you stay in shape.
For long-term weight loss, its not terrific, he says. The only time we really recommend fasting for weight is if someone needs rapid weight loss, for instance, for surgery.
May Help Prevent Alzheimers Disease
Alzheimers disease is the worlds most common neurodegenerative disease.
Theres no cure currently available for Alzheimers, so preventing it from showing up in the first place is critical.
In a series of case reports, a lifestyle intervention that included daily short-term fasts was able to significantly improve Alzheimers symptoms in 9 out of 10 people .
However, more research in humans is needed.
Studies in animals suggest that intermittent fasting may be protective against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease.
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The Following Can Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels:
Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, making it easier to accumulate fat deposits. Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL from your arteries, if you have less HDL, that can contribute to you having a higher LDL level. According to a 2013 study, smokers typically have lower HDL cholesterol than nonsmokers. Research shows quitting smoking can increase HDL.
Control your weight
Being overweight tends to raise your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level. Having a body mass index of 30 or greater puts you at risk of high cholesterol.
Regular physical activity
Sedentarism can lead to weight gain, which can raise your LDL level. Exercise boosts your bodys HDL while increasing the size of the particles that make up your LDL, which makes it less harmful.
A study of women with type 2 diabetes followed three weeks of high-intensity interval training. This boosted the subjects HDL levels by a stagerring 21 percent and lowered triglycerides by 18 percent. Another study found that men who jogged and then ran, at a high intensity for equal periods of time, saw significant improvement in their HDL levels over eight weeks.
These studies showed that in order to boost your HDL you need to oscillate exercise between medium-intensity and high-intensity levels regularly.
What about diet?
A good point
Intermittent Fasting Can Help Weight Loss
IF makes intuitive sense. The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains , are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells dont use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.
Between meals, as long as we dont snack, our insulin levels will go down and our fat cells can then release their stored sugar, to be used as energy. We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down. The entire idea of IF is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.
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Intermittent Fasting For Cholesterol Weight Tummy Trouble & Pain
Intermittent fasting is a more than just a buzz word–it works! There is great scientific data to back it up, and the physiology of how it works makes sense. We were never meant to have 24/7 access to food, especially highly processed foods. Our pancreas, intestines, liver, and kidneys have to work overtime to compensate for that frequent feeding. Our body was meant to have breaks from food where it can recalibrate, process, rest, and pull calories from fat stores. When we fail to give it the opportunity to do so, excess weight, glucose intolerance, and inflammation , sets in. Fasting is one of the healthiest and most natural methods I’ve come across for overall health.
Honestly, I didn’t know a lot about it a few years ago–it wasn’t “taught in school”. My husband had gained some extra weight after we had kids, which he referred to has his “baby weight and dad bod.” He wanted to get back to a weight that felt good and allowed him to mountain bike and climb again. He dove into research on IF and then began implementing it, mixing IF with extended fasting to achieve interval weight loss and maintain weight. I soon started doing the same–a few days a week, mostly work days, which has worked well for me.
I have been able to help patients bring cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels and weights down to healthier levels combining exercise, IF, and a lower, complex carb/healthy fat/lean protein diet.
WHAT IS Intermittent Fasting and how do you do it?
Danzier goes on to write:
Induces Various Cellular Repair Processes
When we fast, the cells in the body initiate a cellular waste removal process called autophagy .
This involves the cells breaking down and metabolizing broken and dysfunctional proteins that build up inside cells over time.
Increased autophagy may provide protection against several diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease .
Fasting triggers a metabolic pathway called autophagy, which removes waste material from cells.
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May Be Beneficial For Heart Health
Heart disease is currently the worlds biggest killer .
Its known that various health markers are associated with either an increased or decreased risk of heart disease.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve numerous different risk factors, including:
- blood sugar levels
The effects of fasting on heart health need to be studied more in-depth in humans before recommendations can be made.
Studies show that intermittent fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease, such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.
May Help Manage Inflammation
Our bodies naturally undergo inflammation as a part of the process it uses to fight off harmful pathogens or recover from injuries by triggering our immune system.
However, when inflammation persists for too long it can start causing us harm. Chronic inflammation happens when the immune system continues to be triggered by what it thinks is a threat. Prolonged inflammation plays a role in the development of chronic health conditions such as atherosclerosis, heart disease, osteoporosis, and even diabetes .
Intermittent fasting has been shown to reduce concentrations of pro-inflammatory markers such as homocysteine, interleukin 6, and C-reactive protein which play a role in the development of these chronic diseases .
Although fasting may provide some health benefits, looking at the quality of our diet and lifestyle can help us create healthy habits to support our health.
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What Is Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that focuses on time-restricted eating, fluctuating between periods of fasting usually lasting longer than 12 hours.
You may already be intermittent fasting to some extent and not even realize it as intermittent fasting is thought to help us follow our body’s natural circadian rhythm.
If you tend to eat an early dinner, skip the late night snacking and don’t eat till breakfast the next day, then you’ve experienced intermitittent fasting!
There are many styles of intermittent fasting, which makes this a more approachable practice than most would think. Two of the most popular intermittent fasting approaches are:
- The 16:8: involves extending your nightly fast, taking 12-16 hours between dinner and breakfast the next day. For example, you may eat dinner around 6 pm and then nothing else until 6-10 am the next morning.
- The 24 hour fast involves fasting for 24 hours 1-2 times a week you’ll still consume non-caloric beverages like water and unsweetened tea.
It might seem a little crazy to imagine not eating for longer than 8 hours, but in all reality our body needs time to rest, relax, and process nutrients tending to our normal repair functions to maintain our health. Additionally, we already have a natural fasting rhythm that occurs when we sleep.
Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has many benefits on health. It can lower the cholesterol and also weight of the body. On intermittent fasting days, high caloric foods are restricted. High caloric food makes more cholesterol in the body that has bad effects. So, high caloric foods are not consumed during intermittent fasting. Research shows that intermittent fasting can lower the LDL level in the body which helps to prevent heart diseases such as heart attack and atherosclerosis. Fasting helps to break the fats of the body. It also reduces the deposition of cholesterol from the arteries that can normalize the blood flow through the arteries. Therefore, fasting can help to lower the coronary heart disease and also stroke.
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Tips For Intermittent Fasting When You Have Diabetes
According to Diabetes UK, there are some general tips that are important to follow if you have diabetes and you plan to start an intermittent fasting diet. These include:
The safety of fasting for those with type 1 diabetes has not been fully established. You should never fast if you have type 1 diabetes without first consulting with your healthcare provider.
Intermittent Fasting May Improve Brain Health
One interesting study published earlier this year investigated the effect of intermittent fasting on motor coordination skills, protein, and DNA damage in specific regions of the brain in middle-aged rats . This study also measured markers of cell metabolism, cell survival pathways, and synaptic plasticity .
The findings indicated that intermittent fasting was associated with improved motor coordination and learning response and a decrease in oxidative stress . So, intermittent fasting may improve healthy aging of the brain and decrease the cognitive decline that is generally considered a normal part of aging.
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Improvements In Cholesterol And Blood Pressure Independent Of Weight Loss
Although weight loss typically leads to drops in LDL cholesterol, the participants levels went down significantly more than expected, which could indicate that time-restricted eating offers additional health benefits. By adding time-restricted eating to the standard medical care and medications they were already taking, it had a dramatic effect on improving the targeted end points, says Wilkinson.
According to the National Lipid Association recommendations for the management of dyslipidemia, a 5 percent loss in body weight should produce a 3 to 5 percent reduction of LDL cholesterol. In this study, although the participants lost just an average of 3 percent of their weight, their LDL went down 11 percent.
Blood pressure also dropped significantly. Triglyceride levels, which would be expected to go down with weight loss, did not change. The investigators also observed trends toward improvement in fasting glucose, and among participants with elevated fasting blood glucose, there was a significant reduction in hemoglobin A1C.
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The : 2 Intermittent Fasting Diet
Thee 5:2 intermittent fasting diet is one type of popular fasting diets, introduced in Dr. Jason Fungs best-selling book “The Obesity Code” in 2016. The 5:2 diet involves five days of eating the recommended daily caloric intake and two non-consecutive days of eating a reduced-calorie diet. On fasting days, food is not eliminated altogether, rather, the number of calories is reduced.
If you have diabetes and want to try the 5:2 diet, speak to your healthcare provider or diabetic team and get a recommendation for a daily caloric intake guideline for fasting and non-fasting days.
Studies on the 5:2 Diet
Studies have shown that the 5:2 diet may help reduce insulin resistance and promote weight loss in people with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
The first long-term study of the 5:2 diet, published in 2018, by the Journal of the American Medical Association , discovered that intermittent fasting could be effective for those with diabetes who have trouble sticking to a long-term, daily diet regime. The study observed 137 people with type 2 diabetes half of the study participants followed the 5:2 diet and the other half adhered to a daily calorie-restricted diet . The group that fasted for two non-consecutive days per weekconsumed 500 to 600 calories on the fasting days and ate normally on the other five days of the week.
Safety of the 5:2 Diet for People With Diabetes
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Intermittent Fasting Is Not For Everyone
There can be risks associated with intermittent fasting, and I would strongly recommend that it be pursued with the guidance of a qualified healthcare provider or nutritionist who understands the risks and benefits and can help determine if its right for you.
Intermittent fasting should always be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding and should generally be avoided during times of increased stress that contribute to Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, or more precisely, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction.
Additionally, there are health risks associated with diets that are too low calorie, including concerns of nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte abnormalities, and potentially more serious risks if extreme diets are undertaken without appropriate supervision. Intermittent fasting can be a great strategy for weight loss and overall health during the right time for you and when approached cautiously.
About Amy: Amy Nett, MD, graduated from Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2007. She subsequently completed a year of internal medicine training at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, followed by five years of specialty training in radiology at Stanford University Hospital, with additional subspecialty training in pediatric radiology.
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Fasting And Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol has been traditionally been associated with increased riskof heart disease and atherosclerosis. Those claims are slowly being challengedyet the idea that cholesterol is dangerous to your health remains.
Cholesterol is an organic compound thats found in all animal cells. Itpromotes bile production, tissue repair, and vitamin D synthesis.
There are different types of cholesterol with various properties andparticle sizes. Generally, HDL isconsidered the healthy one and LDL the bad one.
Triglycerides arefatty acid molecules that can be burned for energy or stored in the adiposetissue. When youre burning fat, you break down triglycerides into glycerol andthree fatty acid chains.
Most of the cholesterol in your blood isproduced endogenously by the liver and dietary cholesterol has an insignificanteffect on the cholesterol in the blood. Heart disease is rooted in inflammation and oxidative stress, whichenforces the formation of cholesterol plaques.
Fasting has been shownto be very effective in lowering potentially dangerous cholesterol levels.
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May Increase Your Life Span
There are several reasons that intermittent fasting may positively impact our life span weight loss, decreased blood pressure, and most of the benefits we listed above may all contribute to prolonging our life while also increase our quality of life at the same time.
Intermittent fasting has been found to affect longevity in animal studies, having beneficial effects on life span and markets for health, stress, metabolic response, and age-related diseases .
These findings are hard to confirm in human trials as there are many factors that affect epidemiological studies and many different types of fasting. But at the end of the day, some of the benefits of intermittent fasting may increase our quality of life overall and reduce our risk of developing chronic diseases.